Our clients were the parents of a 4 year old girl involved in a car accident. She was getting a ride to a birthday party when a second vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver crossed a double yellow line and hit them head-on. Then, a 3rd vehicle came along and struck their vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was killed and our clients’ daughter died a week later due to her injuries. It turned out the intoxicated driver had seen her doctor just hours before the crash, was given narcotic medication, and was then released to drive herself home. She was convicted of multiple counts of manslaughter and received a 6 year jail sentence.
Our clients first hired a local Fresno “accident attorney” who ended up hiring a law firm from Los Angeles due to the complicated nature of the case. Unfortunately, the Fresno attorney quickly settled the case against the intoxicated driver for her $100K policy limits, and he took no significant steps to pursue any of the other drivers, or the medical facility who employed the doctor. The clients fired their attorney after a year and hired The Dunnion Law Firm.
Immediately, we filed suit against all responsible parties. We investigated the matter and, in the course of discovery, we uncovered the fact that the doctor had lied to investigating officers. We gathered evidence to support our claim and fought to obtain justice from the medical facility for allowing their intoxicated patient to drive away while on heavy medication. Ultimately, the medical facility offered to pay the sum of $250K, the maximum allowed under California medical malpractice laws, for the wrongful death claim. We also brought claims against the rear vehicle and the driver’s estate who had died. Because the prior attorney did not make a timely claim against the estate, we were limited to the insurance policy limits of $15K from the deceased driver. We did investigate further, though, and it appeared he had no assets to pursue anyway. The last car, although they claimed no responsibility for the accident, also tendered their policy limits of $15K, for a total of $380K. We were also able to not only arrange for all of our clients’ daughter’s medical bills to be paid by Medi-Cal, but we negotiated with State to waive their entire Medi-Cal reimbursement claim, which let our clients keep their entire settlement.